I was listening on CSPAN to yesterday’s speeches at some RGA (Republican Governors Association) meeting, and it struck me: we were all assuming a… somewhat ‘meh’ year for the RGA. And it was realistic to do so: we had had such a great year in 2010 everybody figured that there’d be a reversion to the mean. I mean, we knew about Tom Corbett in Pennsylvania. We figured that Florida was going to be heavy lifting, and many of us figured that Rick Scott wouldn’t make it through. Maine and Paul LePage, likewise. Sam Brownback in Kansas was being treated as a dead man walking. There were even people worried about Rick Snyder in Michigan and Scott Walker in Wisconsin.
…Well. Corbett got eviscerated, on cue. Sean Parnell in Alaska eventually lost, in what can be charitably called a ‘mess’ of an election. But all those other people won – and then we flipped Illinois, Massachusetts, Arkansas, and Maryland. That’s a solid win for the RGA, which means that it’s a solid win for Chris Christie. Maryland’s Governor-elect Larry Hogan in particular couldn’t thank Christie enough for the RGA’s help, which was indeed easily the most significant support that the Hogan campaign got from the GOP*. That will have an effect on donors and organizations. And it’s a legitimate one: being able to win in tough places to win is pretty much the yardstick that we’re using for our Presidential candidates**. Continue reading Something that many of my readers probably don’t want to hear about Chris Christie.
Mind you, both the state Obamacare exchange AND the governor deserve it.
The state Obamacare exchange for not working, and the governor for contributing to the general lack of function. For those who missed the original story: Hawaii, like many other Democratic controlled states*, produced its own state exchange. And, like many other Democratic-controlled states, the exchange has crashed, burned, exploded, sunk below the waves, and then exploded again. Just in time, I might add, for the 2014 election cycle, which amusingly enough is a midterm – which means that most of the governors’ races are taking place this November. Continue reading RGA slams Hawaii’s state #obamacare exchange, Neil Abercrombie.
Short version: 130K jobs lost, 3 billion shortfall under Burke and Governor Doyle, Burke’s family’s company outsourced jobs to the Chinese (it’s that last one that’s gonna hurt worst in Wisconsin). Welcome to the 2014 election cycle! …Hope you don’t blanch at the sight of a good blood splatter.
…the RGA isn’t about to mess with that. This is not a bad year to be a Republican governor, per se: but it’s an important year, and there are a LOT of important races on the table. If the RGA can lock in its wins, we will ensure that we have a fantastic bench for Republican candidates for the next decade. Six million bucks in a month is not the least compelling argument in the world.
So. We got Maryland Governor and DGA head Martin O’Malley out there SNEERING about us awful, awful racist Republicans (for the full effect, assume that I’m fluttering my hands like I’ve got the St. Vitus’ dance):
Using Governor Rick Perry (formerly) of the RGA for that, too. You see, good old Martin here really, really respects the heck out of Rick, you understand; despite the fact that he’s voluntarily a member of a racist and prejudiced group like the GOP. Isn’t that just… well, Caucasian… of Ol’ Whitebread O’Malley?
No, my sneer’s deliberate, too. And much more justified. Consider this:
The progressive, inclusive DGA currently being run by Whitebread O’Malley has precisely one racial minority among its members: MA governor Deval Patrick. Apparently Democrats don’t like voting for ethnic minorities – at least, not statewide.
They’re claiming that their group “exceeded expectations” by holding the RGA to a ‘mere’ +6 GOP gain overall, with five Democratic pickups and one Independent one. To begin with, that number is still up in the air: the Minnesota results have not yet come in… but even if you spot the Democrats that one, this is, well, a silly thing for the DGA to say. Let’s look at the battlefield, shall we?
Democratic pickups. CA, CT, HI, MN, RI*, VT. First off, gaining California? Worth crowing over, sure. CT likewise. We fought for both of those pretty hard. Minnesota likewise, although the state legislature flipping to GOP rules out the primary reason that the Democrats wanted the state (ie, gerrymandering Michele Bachmann’s seat out of existence). Nonetheless, the DGA’s pickups were all in safely Blue states (Minnesota is the purplest), which means that they gained effectively nothing when it comes to the Presidential election in 2012. And as for redistricting: aside from Minnesota, the only fertile ground there would have been California… which has just taken redistricting out of the hands of the legislature. Oops. Continue reading The DGA spins a bad night.
That’s the current number of state legislative chambers* that the GOP will be controlling, starting next year: there are still five state legislative chambers still undecided, so the number could go as high as 59 of 99. That represents a flip of eighteen state chambers (and the gain of both houses in the state legislature in six states) by the GOP; couple that with a +7 to +10 gain in governorships and it was a good night for the Republicans on the state level.
This is important for two reasons (besides the obvious one that this makes it easier to pass conservative/Republican policies): first, it cuts deeply into the available pool for up-and-coming Democratic legislators who would like to be Federal Congressmen and Senators – or, for that matter, governors. Second, it neatly spokes the wheel of the Democrats’ long-term project to have control over the redistricting process. In 2011, the redistricting process will require the maps to be redrawn in eighteen states; and it was always the goal of the Democratic party to have unilateral oversight over that process, the better to eliminate troublesome Republicans via gerrymandering. Thanks largely to the RGA, that’s a lot less of a problem than it was before: of the eighteen states that are going to gain/lose seats, at least thirteen will have Republican governors, which will help keep the shenanigans down.
In short: Tuesday was a great night for the GOP, on pretty much every level that you would care to name.
If you do political blogging or reporting for a while, you end up hearing this question a lot: Why should I bother to come out and vote for the [insert epithet here meaning ‘not as ideologically sound as I am’]? This would be normally responded to with a polite “That’s a good question” and a variable-length stream of blather before the question is actually answered, but let’s cut to the chase. You bother to go out and vote for the [epithet] because:
Voting for the [epithet] in the House helps get you a Speaker with control over the Rules Committee, and somebody friendlier as Chair of Oversight and Government Reform. Look them both up.
Voting for the [epithet] in the Senate helps get you an atmosphere where half the judiciary/executive branch appointments that you would object to strenuously quietly die stillborn.
That’s the way it works* – but you’re thinking to yourself, Well, at least I don’t have to vote for an [epithet] for governor. – but alas, no. You do. In some ways that’s the most critical place where you would have to if necessary, in roughly half the races out there this cycle. Why?
Yes, they’re fairly obviously going to be doing one of these a week until Election Day. Because the RGA – and the rest of the GOP – is hungry, in a way that the Democratic party is not. Watch Democratic legislators these days; their shoulders sloop, ever so slightly. Their eyes aren’t quite as bright as they were in 2008 and 2006. They cough just a bit more.